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2014 HR Forum - Event in Review


Last week’s Human Resources Forum, June 1-3 at the Four Seasons in Dallas, TX was a huge success, with 100% of Delegates rating their experience as very good or good (4.6 average on a scale of 1-5) and nearly 80% of Supplier Companies immediately booking their place at next year’s event.
 
Companies averaging 44,481 employees were represented, from multiple industries, with a strong presence in healthcare, financial services and retail. CHROs, and HR VP Generalists, Directors of Talent Management, Compensation, Benefits, Acquisition, Development, Training, Effectiveness and more; the HR department powerhouses all under one roof, with a common mission - to network, learn and find solutions.
 
Setting the tone for the opening of the 2014 HR Forum on Sunday evening, with his heartfelt leadership style, was keynote speaker Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40 Company.  In his compelling presentation, Ridge addressed that even in tough times, creating a tribal culture among employees and a sense of belonging - and removing the biggest obstacle to learning – fear, will truly enable companies to engage their people, build a great place to work, and improve employee performance, job satisfaction and retention.
 
#LearningMoment Fact: WD-40 produces $1M in revenue per employee!
 
Following Ridge’s keynote, the group mingled their way into the foyer for the welcome cocktail reception and a series of 8 minute speed dates - executive style, all pre-arranged meetings. For HR leaders meeting with peers - a quick-fire exchange of challenges and best practices. For Suppliers meeting buyers – a quick “cup of tea” conversation to determine a match or not and where a potential relationship could go.
 
The most popular areas for discussion and top areas where delegates were seeking solutions centered around Employee Engagement, Change Management, Organizational Culture, Succession Planning, Rewards & Recognition, Performance Management, Coaching & Leadership Development, HR Metrics and Wellness Programs.
 
Over the next day and a half over 1000 meetings took place between senior HR leaders and suppliers to the industry, one-on-one, and over meals with peers, as they discussed the critical challenges facing their companies and their people, developing new relationships and mutually beneficial partnerships and solutions.
 
91% of Delegates rated their meetings with Suppliers as Good or Very Good and 69% said they were useful meetings that were unlikely to happen otherwise, stressing the importance and value of face-to-face meetings.
 
So far, 66% of Delegates are arranging further meetings with suppliers they met, 49% are asking suppliers to pitch for a specific project and 22% intend to commission work with a supplier based on their meeting at the HR Forum alone. 100% of suppliers expect to see ROI, majority within 3-6 months.
#HowDoYouBizDev?
 
Continuing the keynotes on day two, Sheldon Yellen, CEO of BELFOR, delivered what many were referring to as the most honest and inspiring presentation they ever heard. Known from his appearance on CBS’ hit show Undercover Boss, Yellen took us on a story of his own life and how his appearance on the show and actually getting to know his employees, transformed him to become the leader he is today - leading from behind, putting people first and his “be humble or get humbled” philosophy.
 
It was clear that HR leaders really appreciated the CEO perspectives of both Ridge and Yellen, and left recharged and inspired to return to the office ready to make a measurable impact to their business and their people, reiterating the importance and effectiveness of effective leadership, starting from the top-down.
 
Other popular conference sessions and discussion groups amongst Delegates focused on:
-      The Power of an Engaged Organization
-      Employment Branding Strategies to Stand Out from the Pack
-      The Realities of Recruiting
-      Starting with a Moral Purpose: Driving Business through Sustainability
-      GenZ – Adjusting to the Changing Needs of Tomorrow’s Labor Market
 
The next Richmond Events’ Human Resources Forum will take place June 7-9, 2015 at Omni Barton Creek in Austin, Texas.
 
For more information, please contact Project Manager Brielle Pope at 212-651-8713 or bpope@richmondevents.com.

The Digital Marketing Forum 12th March 2014, Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire | Post event newsletter


Over 150 of the UK’s leading digital marketers gathered in the Oxfordshire countryside on 12th March for the 2014 Digital Marketing Forum. Representing some of the country’s leading brands, delegates enjoyed a packed programme of presentations and workshops together with the chance to meet over 40 digital agencies offering a full range of digital services.

Pioneering An adaptive digital strategy

BH-(2).jpg

Ben Hammersley gave the opening keynote presentation at The  Digital Marketing Forum 2014. 
He sees 5 key factors affecting UK markets:

1.Economic doom and UK economic inequalities
2.Geopolitical uncertainties and reframings
3. Market states and interconnected economies
4.Alternative models and paradigms
5. Generational civil war

Ben went on to explain the implications of these factors, how he sees the new digital world affecting everyone’s lives. Notably he talked in some detail about the problems of traditional “push” advertising in today’s world. Read on

See a list of digital marketers who attended on the day

"Extremely useful, well organised and enjoyable. A great opportunity to network with peers,
exchange ideas and develop new contacts."– Head of eCommerce, George and Freddie

"I thought it was a great experience. I met so many great people and attended some really motivational seminars!" – Loyalty Marketing Manager, Debenhams

"Wholly enjoyable - good keynote address, some interesting meetings, great location, nice mix of delegates & agencies!"- Digital Marketing Manager, First Utility

More findings from the day…

Biggest content challenge? People just don’t get what it is…

Says Catherine Toole, Chairman of Sticky Content. Speaking at The Digital Marketing Forum, Catherine revealed that 6 in 10 people say the biggest challenge to producing good copy is that people just don’t get what it is, while half of the respondents struggled to find skilled writers.

Meanwhile, too many stakeholders spoil the content, with 55% of companies having between 3 and 8 people involved in their sign-off process.

In order to eliminate content by consensus, digital marketers took away the following action points:

-Use content to engage and educate
-Remove silos
-Use written briefs
-Limit numbers and scope
-Stop asking for feedback
-Know the enemies

Social Media: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

At this year’s event we ran a series of roundtables which looked at social media; specifically areas of good, bad and ugly!

The report comprises both B2C and B2B findings and includes who’s doing what well (and poorly), what channels are on the up and which are decreasing, as well as a brief summary rounding up all the issues and looking towards the future.

You can download the full report here.

As the topic is a moving feast we’ll be running similar groups at The Digital Marketing Forum 2015.

Preferred digital suppliers…

This year we asked the clients attending the event to tell us who their favourite suppliers were, and more importantly why.  Please have a look at the attached list and see whether or not you agree.  If you feel we’re missing any and would like to nominate an agency please let us know!

Recommended digital suppliers

And what did the agencies think of their day?

88% of agencies rated the quality of the event for its future business potential

Agencies expect at least £133,000 of new business from the forum.

"An excellent and time effective event, ideal for networking and having that one to one time with key decision makers."-  Sales Director, Brightcove

"Positive - Good brands, great atmosphere, real opportunities."– Managing Director, Computerlove

95% of agencies rated the quality of one to one meetings with clients as good or very good

See a list of digital agencies who attended on the day

Agenda for The Digital Marketing Forum 2015

Positive feedback suggests that attendees appreciate the breadth of topics and strategic focus of the conference programme.

Early indications are that social media, big data, data analytics, SEO and a range of topics around the customer will continue to top the agenda in 2015.

Digital client places for 11th March 2015.

We’re growing!  Due to the success of the 2104 event we’re taking over the whole of the Crown Plaza at Heythrop Park so we can accommodate extra attendees.  If you would like to apply for a client place at next year’s Digital Marketing Forum then please contact csmith@richmondevents.com. Client places are free of charge but by invitation only.

Digital agencies find out more….

If you would like to find out how you could meet senior digital marketers, face to face in the beautiful and relaxed environment of Heythrop Park please contact ntait@richmondevents.com for more information.



 


The Retail Forum | Post Event Newsletter


Bill Grimsey “Overcapacity is such a severe problem that it could, ultimately, result in the disappearance of one of the big 4 grocers”.

Bill Grimsey’s opening address challenged retailers to recognise that the end of the downturn does not signal the end of structural change in the sector; indeed, if anything the pace and severity of change is likely to accelerate over the next few years. The address threw out a number of challenges, not least among them, the issue of overcapacity in the sector. The only long term solution to this is less space brought about through the closure of underperforming stores. So severe is this problem that it could, ultimately, result in the disappearance of one of the big 4 grocers, said Grimsey.

Neil Saunders "Consumers today are more demanding and have higher expectations from retailers and products; this makes them difficult, and sometimes expensive, to serve.”


Bill’s sentiments were echoed in the presentation by the forum’s chairman, Neil Saunders, Managing Director of Conlumino,  which explored how the consumer would change in the post-downturn environment. It was noted that not all trends which have emerged during the downturn would disappear as the economy came back to life. Indeed, some trends have become entrenched and established – such as the polarisation of buying which sees some consumers trading up to more expensive goods while at the same time buying from discounters. Another key theme was that consumers today are more demanding and have higher expectations from retailers and products; this makes them difficult, and sometimes expensive, to serve. 

Joe McEwan “ensure that only people who believe in the brand and who fit well with the company ethos are hired”


Great customer experience doesn't just come from metrics; it also comes from passion and belief which was  something Joe McEwan, Head of Digital and Communities at Innocent had in spades. Joe told the story of how Innocent had been founded and how it has grown in a way that respects communities, fosters openness in communications and builds an engaged and active community around its products. One of Joe’s key messages for maintaining a unique culture, even as a business grows, is to ensure that only people who believe in the brand and who fit well with the company ethos are hired – even if this means leaving a vacancy open for a while.

Matt Watkinson “brands and products need to be clear about what they stand for and deliver on their promises”

Matt Watkinson, customer experience expert,  explored the theme of serving customers in his presentation and outlined ten principles behind a great customer experience. One of Matt’s contentions is that a good customer experience is about setting and then meeting or exceeding expectations, as such it is important for brands and products to be clear about what they stand for and to deliver on their promises. This, in large part, explains why cheaper and premium brands can both be highly regarded with consumers even though they are markedly different in terms of proposition. It also explains why many middle market brands, which fail to manage expectations, are failing in the current environment.

Dennis Reid “building a high performance team requires appropriate KPIs for measurement and accountability”

Ensuring that retailers understand and deliver for the customer arguably comes down to having an engaged workforce; this was something explored by Dennis Reid, Managing Director of Retail Performance Specilaists. In his presentation Dennis argued that building a high performance team required appropriate KPIs for measurement, having clear actions in place to move numbers in the right direction, ensuring the presence of a learning culture, and making all of this endure through accountability and ongoing coaching. Using examples from clients, Dennis showed how this approach could create positive change in metrics such as sales, conversions or average transaction values.


Richmond Events' Business Panel Report - Information & Learning


Headline findings include:

  • In terms of gaining learning beneficial to their everyday work role, the main source is via conferences and networking events with over 80% of the panel indicating this as a preferred choice.
  • As for sources of learning in terms of the panel’s personal career development, again the number one source is through conferences and networking events.  This is followed by ‘my personal network’ and membership of an industry association.
  • The highest proportion of the panel, over half, have previously studied for qualifications whilst in the workplace, and a further 13% are currently studying.
  • 85% of the panel are members of their industry association / professional body.  The two most popular benefits of membership are expanding ‘my’ network and sharing best practice.
  • Asked which areas the panel would benefit from further training, the top responses were for leadership training, change management and presentation skills.
  • Asked which other departments the panel feels they would benefit from training about, the number one choice was into the workings of the finance department, with over half the panel indicating an interest in this area.  The next most popular area was into the workings of the CEO with a third of the panel indicating such interest.
  • 30% of the panel read sites / blogs virtually every day, 43% quite regularly. This is much higher than the corresponding figures for readership of the financial press which is 20% every day and 33% quite regularly.
  • Social media – 91% of the panel use LinkedIn for business purposes.  The next highest social media channel is YouTube with just over 1 in 4 of the panel doing likewise.  Only 11% of the panel use Facebook or Twitter within a business context.
For full report http://revents.info/l/6qH

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